Spiritual Growth as a Way of Life

Rom 12:2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

What is occupying your mind and heart this Christmas season?

One of the Apostle Paul’s trademark character traits was his ability to be honest about his past and present shortcomings. All too often in the church today, people aren’t authentic, and we settle for the “appearance” of growth or renewal, rather than the authentic, real thing.

What do you think of when you think of “renewal?”

For many of us, we have “annual renewals,” or “quarterly renewals,” or perhaps “monthly renewals.” We renew our auto insurance, our certificates of deposit, our students’ scholastic standings, our credit cards and other memberships that get us discounts or opportunities. Here at the end of the year, perhaps we’re renewing some of our charitable giving, or auto-pays, or subscriptions, or the like.

But perhaps our episodic renewals in our personal business lives cause us to overlook the wonderful opportunity we have for daily spiritual renewal. It was never God’s idea that we’d get renewed one day a week by coming to church on Saturday or Sunday, figuring that would have to last us for the week.

God’s invitation is to be transformed—to move away from where we’ve been and to move towards where we’re going—in a powerful and supernatural way. He invites us every day, every hour, every minute…not as a pressure but as an opportunity.

And God doesn’t invite us to get naïve, or to get mindless, or to get fake or to abandon reason, because he invites us to the renewing of our “mind,” knowing that a renewed mind will not conform to this world and that a renewed mind will make the right choices.

Perhaps this Christmas season is a good one to draw us into thinking about a 2017 that is full of significant renewal. Think of how many others may be blessed, including ourselves, as we become better versions of ourselves.

Today’s Prayer: “Help me not to be conformed to this world, since I have so many opportunities. Please help me to be renewed more and more so that I’m less tempted and more confident. Help me to have a renewed mind, and thank you for the opportunity to show others your “good and acceptable and perfect will.” That’s staggering to think of, but help me understand and embrace it, with your help. Amen.”

Make it a great week! -Doug


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